Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Church merger: Questions we're asking

So where are we up to in this church merger business? Well the good news is that recently the members of The Grange Free Church voted unanimously to merge with North Shrewsbury Community Church. That's the easy bit done and now the hard work really begins!

The reality is that deciding to walk down a particular path is a far cry from making the journey a successful and there's a lot of hard work ahead. However we're excited by this and believe this vote is just further confirmation that this is God's intention for our churches at this time.

So what next? Well, we need to be thorough and we need to remember that there's no great rush. We need to work through as many issues and discussions as we can and build real unity, we need to discover the depth of the differences and the depth of the relationship. In order to do that as a leadership we're working through a series of questions. As we deal with them, subsequently I'll write about them. So the next post in this ad hoc series will be on vision.

  1. How do you merge a church? 
  2. Why merge?


Anonymous said...


Some experts in church merging and aqcusitions say that there really is a rush to get it done. They recommend one month from proposal to full physical integration. The reason is that the unknown can be very scary and getting the congregation involved in the 'work' helps relieve the stress of the 'worry'.

Good luck, and we will visit as soon as you are settled in the new building.

Phil on 16 October 2009 at 15:49 said...

Thanks anonymous - do reveal yourself if you visit! It would be really helpful to know the experts you're referring to, we're trying to do a lot of reading on the subject, so any other sources would be a great help.

Our reasons for going slow - are relationships, building trust not forcing change. We're trying to remember that the church is the people not a business or organisation. Two we want to be thorough, we don't want a split or a division on something in the future that could have been avoided by (using business language) some due diligence in the process.

Thanks for your support

Anonymous said...


Your situation is ideal... conventional wisdom may not apply.

You might find this of interest though;
It is from a church planting seminar conducted by ARC.

God bless!

Richard Burgess on 27 June 2011 at 09:03 said...

Last year we felt the Lord clearly guide us to merge our church with another in the town. It wasn’t something we were looking for, or necessarily needed.

To cut a long story short, we felt God speak to us at the beginning of July 2010, we then processed this as elders, shared what we felt God was saying with the church at the end of August (which came as a complete surprise, yet the Lord had already began to prepare some for a change), discussed, prayed, compared our philosophy of ministry, opened all lines of communication in order to hear from and help the church, had the leaders of Gateway come and share with the church followed by a question and answer session, met one on one with those who wanted to, had a couple of joint Sunday meetings and then completed the merge on January 1st 2011.

The interesting thing is how it has surprised others (the church has a good history of the blessing of God), and it seems that most have wondered why we did it (it seems that division is more accepted!) but there’s no doubt that God was and is in it, he has graced and guided all the way, and it couldn’t have gone better.

The result is we now have a church with a wider gift mix, and we feel we can do more together than we could apart.

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